John Glennon of the Tennessean recently put up a post after talking to defensive end Derrick Morgan about his snap count in Sunday's game. Morgan's quote is what jumped out at me the most.
"It was definitely a big difference, because when you're out there for 70 snaps or something like that, you're talking about playing two games," Morgan said. "(This way), you're able to get your breath back, your wind back and kind of regroup - as opposed to last year, when you'd come to the sidelines and get some Gatorade and you'd be like, `Man, it's already second-and-10 (for the offense).'"
This is obviously a huge part of what the Titans and head coach Mike Munchak are trying to accomplish with the changes they've made in the offseason. Even after giving up a franchise record 471 points last year, the team placed most of its focus on the offensive side of the ball. Munchak stood by his approach, constantly citing time of possession as a goal and a cure for a lot of the team's ailments.
The argument about time of possession being a result vs. a cause in winning teams can go on endlessly, and both sides have their points. However, what can't be denied is hearing the players say what Morgan just did. How much a difference it makes for the defense to get their wind back.
During the preseason, I pointed out why a 19 yard drive wasn't such a bad thing, when it also eats up 3:30 minutes of play clock. This is what a heavy dose of the run game can do for the defense.
So far so good for the Titans and their new style of play, however this coming Sunday will say a lot. While I don't think we'll see the same 2-1 run/pass ratio that we saw against the Steelers, make no mistake this will still be a run first team. If the offense can stay on the field and bring the Houston Texans into the style of game the Titans want to play, then the defense should be able to turn around and give the ball right back to the offense as scripted.
Yes, the point of the offense is to score. But if the offense can take their time doing so, it will only help the defense achieve their objective all the more.